Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A college vs. a blog...again

When will we all rise up and demand that universities respect their students AND profs' rights to express opinions via blogs? It's getting ridiculous!

Here's another story. This time it's a dental student getting the axe for writing online.

It's buzzing on the blogosphere. Here's one take.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meh, this isn't just in universities. This is happening in workplaces across America. Attorneys, Washington interns, mill workers... they've all been fired for inappropriate blogging - outside of 9 to 5.

It's the employer/employee contract - if you want a paycheck you can't avoid it. As part of the contract you surrender some of your rights - mostly under the definition of what is appropriate behavior. If you don't like the terms you can always leave.

The rest of the world deals with it, why would teachers be an exception?

8:41 PM  
Blogger PerpetualBeginner said...

The rest of the world is carping (rightfully) and fighting about it too. It's not like all the people who catch hell for a private blog from their employer just roll over and die. Nor should they. It's the employer/employee contract. They're purchasing our labor, not our lives.

Wrecking a student's future dentistry career because he indulged in normal student carping on a blog instead of just to his friends? The school needs to get over themselves.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its outrageous. Cant the authorities be taken to court for such stupid action?

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're purchasing our labor, not our lives.

Nope, they're purchasing your life and it's non-negotiable. You don't like it? Don't sign. The only option you have is to not accept their terms.

Checking criminal records?
Drug testing?
Prohibiting posing for Playboy?
Restricting media quotes?

All curtail what you do with your own time and have gotten people fired. I'm not sure where it stops but a few years ago a Coca-Cola employee was fired after being photographed drinking a Pepsi on his own time. Fair? Certainly not but as long as you're receiving checks instead of issuing them you don't have room to gripe. Nobody forced you to take their job and it's constraints.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Cold Potato said...

The trend has me worried. However this is not a new trend ... I am in no way a history major, but I remember something about McCarthy and people being labled "un-american" and being put on blacklists for what they thought or did in their off time. A recent example is the Patriot Act. You don't like it? You can go to jail, no need for charges, and oh yes, we can torture now. Where will it stop? Will your employer decide to fire you because you are gay or lesbian? Because you went home and watched a "naughty video"? Because you voted for the wrong party? Because you made a public statement describing the world around you that happens to show your employer (college) in a less than perfect state?

Where does it stop?

Blogging in itself may or may not be the only to work off a grudge.
My favorite thing to do when pissed is find a tour group of potential students and warn them about the bigwigs who care more about making money than giving an education.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous lucille said...

"Fair? Certainly not but as long as you're receiving checks instead of issuing them you don't have room to gripe. Nobody forced you to take their job and it's constraints."

Um, hello? In the 19th century that was an excellent argument for child labor, 16-hour workdays, sexual favors at the will of the employer, and so on. There are such things as workers' rights, freedom of speech, and other such trivial little civil liberties. We are losing them by the nanosecond in this country. And last time I checked, the University was supposed to protect and nurture the values of democratic citizenship: that's why faculty and student freedom of speech is a kind of "last bastion," not because we are more important or more privileged than other kinds of workers.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Nice discussion, but RTFA.. this is a STUDENT who was suspended for blogging, not a teacher. A student who was paying money to the university for his education. By your logic, since he's depositing $$ into the system instead of taking it out (scholarships excepted), he should be able to do whatever the hell he wants to.

It's not about being a wage slave, it's about free speech.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Stalinist attitudes toward free speech may be nothing out of the ordinary for big outfits like Google or Coca-Cola, I find such attitudes very disturbing in a place of higher learning. Students gripe about things. That's just a fact of life. But to torpedo a student's academic career over such a trivial matter is just plain overkill.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not just a private university... it is a private Jesuit-run university.

As a grad-school alumnus I can tell you that there is preferential treatment based on your religion. I bet this dental student was not Catholic.

I also bet that he did not have a legacy of family members who graduated from Marquette, family members who worked there or a history of large family donations.

Any of these conditions could have earned this young man forgiveness from the Jesuit Fathers.

If you want to read about the draconian style of management Marquette practices, read about the decisions to change the name of their basketball team’s name from the Marquette Warriors to the Marquette Golden Eagles.

Good luck, Mr. Young Dental Student. Find a sharp lawyer.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice discussion, but RTFA.. this is a STUDENT who was suspended for blogging, not a teacher.

Well, it was the prof's post that extended the discussion to "students AND teachers" so if you want someone to RTFA you should take it up with her.

Besides it was a grad student... in a professional school... who was warned in advance. The same argument holds, if you don't like the rules don't go there. It's a private school, nobody is being forced to attend and adhere to their rules. The code of ethics and professional conduct is a standard part of the contract disregard at your own peril.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Greg - Cowboy in the Jungle said...

If the university recieved govt money then it is acing on behalf of the govt and must respect freedom of speech - especially when practiced OFF CAMPUS.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg - there are even more flaws in your logic than in your spelling.

For starters, Marquette is a private school so it doesn't take government funding, at least not to directly subsidize tuition.

If civil liberties are your thing, I would think the school's religious affiliation as a "Catholic Jesuit College" is a much more flagrant offense. But again it's a private school so it can call itself whatever it wants and demand whatever behavior it deems fit - as long as it demands the same from everybody.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know of one blogger who recently was just asked to take off all pictures on his site which were located inside the place he worked, and to remove all instances of their company logo from the site. Not too unreasonable, I feel.

Of course he got upset, because previously he had been proud to work where he did, and now he just feels that their high-handed demands were unreasonable. He worked out a compromise of just removing their company logos where they appeared though, so it all ended happily.


4:27 AM  
Anonymous highschoolkid07 said...

lol. You used the term "blogosphere". lol.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This is frightening.

George Orwell was a prescient genius.

The blogging phenomenon is finally giving the average person an opportunity to communicate the real truth behind the scenes of his or her own personal life, in a somewhat anonymous (read, safe) manner.

This is scaring the pants off those who currently believe they are in control of the little people.

But you know what's truly scary here? That our controllers are afraid of the TRUTH finally being written for all to see.

The proposed punishment for this student is unconscionable. May the most powerful pro-bono lawyer in the land get wind of his plight.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous B.J. said...

I agree with kevin... this is extremely frightening.

4:46 AM  

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